How To Feel Helpful & Hopeful

Woman On The Phone

Volunteering at NYWC makes a difference.

You may have heard about the 1:1 support service that we offer at North York Women’s Centre but aren’t aware of the type of assistance we provide. (In addition to our other programs and services.) With the help of staff and volunteers, we respond to women’s visits, calls and emails – offering a listening ear, useful information and access to other support services in Toronto when required.

Here, two former volunteers outline the importance of their efforts. In fact, volunteers are so vital to NYWC that we are currently hiring a Manager of Volunteer Services. (Apply today!)

“Occasionally we ask ourselves if we’re not just increasing someone’s sense of futility and frustration by offering more ‘helpful’ telephone numbers.  But then a woman calls with legal and child custody concerns, and we book her an appointment with a legal clinic. We feel helpful.

A student and mother of two phones in a panic because she can’t pay her next month’s rent. We put her in touch with a housing crisis management number. We feel hopeful.

A woman describes the harassing treatment at her job, and we suggest several agencies that will offer immediate, sympathetic and effective action. We feel useful.

A lonely and depressed woman wishes to meet other women, so we let her know about our online women’s lounge every Wednesday. We feel positive.

A woman, frightened and alone, phones and needs to talk to another sympathetic woman. We listen (patiently, we hope) and through sharing her pain, she feels that she has the strength to help herself get through another day. We feel grateful to have taken her call.

We go home and think about how much we have benefited today. We feel glad to have volunteered.”

If you would like to share your time, skills and expertise to help women as an NYWC volunteer, sign up on our volunteering page.

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